Select Page


RG2737.AM:  Tibbles Family

Papers:  1908-1957

Lincoln, Lancaster County, and Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska

Size:  0.5 cu.ft.; 1 box


Thomas Henry Tibbles was born in 1840 near Athens, Ohio.  He worked as an editor for the Omaha Daily Herald and was instrumental in bringing the case of Standing Bear and the Ponca Indian people before the United States District Court at Fort Omaha in 1879.  He was later married to Susette (“Bright Eyes”) LaFlesche, a member of the Omaha tribe who had served as Standing Bear’s interpreter at the trial.  Thomas then became the editor of the Populist Party’s newspaper, The Independent.  He was the Populist Party’s nominee for Vice President in 1904.

Thomas was married three times. His first wife was Amelia Owens, with whom he had two daughters, Eda (who married Herbert Bates) and May (who married Allen Barris). Amelia died in 1879.  Thomas’ second wife was Susette “Bright Eyes” LaFlesche, and his third wife was Ida Riddle.  Thomas Henry Tibbles died on May 14, 1928.  He is buried in Bellevue Cemetery, Bellevue, Nebraska, next to his third wife.


This collection contains the papers of Thomas Henry Tibbles, noted author, editor, and pioneer, along with materials relating to his wife, Ida Tibbles, and daughter, May Tibbles Bates.  The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, mostly between Ida and May, with a few early letters regarding T.H. Tibbles’ political activities and his writings.  Some of Tibbles’ manuscripts and a small amount of verse are also included in the collection.

The materials are arranged in five series:  1) Correspondence, 1908-1933 and undated; 2) Legal papers; 3) Manuscripts; 4) Verse; and 5) Miscellany.

Note:  See the LaFlesche family papers [RG2026.AM] for materials relating to Susette LaFlesche (Thomas Tibbles’ second wife).  See the library collection for various writings by Thomas Henry Tibbles.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1908-1933 and undated

Box 1


  1. 1908, 1909

  2. 1910, 1913

  3. 1920-1922

  4. 1926-1927

  5. 1928

  6. 1931-1933

  7. Undated

Series 2 – Legal papers

  1. Copy of deed by M.J. Riddle to Mary L. Riddle and Ida B. Tibbles

    Copy of the will of Moses Jackson Riddle

    Handwritten copy of deed by M.J. Riddle

Series 3 – Manuscripts

  1. About Tariffs and Protection

    Anecdotes of Standing Bear (2 copies)

    Economic Responsibility in Advertising

    Economic Study 2

    Ethics of Economics

    The Ghost Dog

    Government by Parties

    Government by Party

  2. How Mary Planted the Eggs

    Legislation & Economics

    Providence and Politics

    Sentenced to Death

    Total Depravity (2 copies)

    Three Professors

  3. Buckskin and Blanket Days

  4. Miscellaneous writings

Series 4 – Verse

  1. Verse by T.H. Tibbles

  2. Notebook with verse by T.H. Tibbles

Series 5 – Miscellany

  1. Biographical information about T.H. Tibbles

  2. Miscellaneous cards, clippings, etc.


Subject headings:

Bates, May (Tibbles)

Frontier and pioneer life

Indians of North America

Riddle, Moses Jackson, 1838-1913

Standing Bear, ca. 1834-1908

Tibbles family

Tibbles, Ida (Riddle), 1869-1958

Tibbles, Thomas Henry, 1840-1928


DAB/HEK/sw       07-09-1966

KFK                    06-09-2000